I’ve always assumed two things:
I’m Irish, and my husband is German.
After all, the origins of my maiden name and the sunburned tone of my skin don’t hurt the Irish claim. And my husband’s very German surname seems to speak for itself.
I’ve always been interested in family heritage and genetics. So when I first heard about DNA testing services, I desperately wanted to trace my ancestry, uncover ancient secrets, and meet new members of my extended family.
However, it wasn’t until my son came along that this interest became insatiable. Because:
Our son is adopted.
As his mother, I want him to feel connected to his heritage. I want him to know where he came from, who shaped his genetics, and how he can relate to his culture. But due to neither his fault nor mine, he has no connection to his biological family. And, he does not share my cultural background.
Right now, he’s a baby. He doesn’t care about these things. But I know he will someday. And I want to be ready.
MyHeritage is a leader in the realm of discovering, preserving, and sharing family history. Their platform and DNA kits make it easy to find information about your past that you can share with generations to come.
We were blessed to receive three MyHeritage DNA kits—one for me, my husband, and our beautiful adopted son. From the beginning, MyHeritage was easy to use. We received the kits in the mail with everything needed to get started.
The testing process is simple, quick, and ick-free. No spitting in a tube here! Simply swab the inside of your cheek and stick the swab in a vial. (I’m happy to report that swabbing a 12-month-old’s cheek is easier than I expected!)
Next, seal the envelope, purchase postage, and you’re done.
After you send off your tests, MyHeritage advises that you’ll have a 4 – 6 week wait time. And while that may seem like a long time, MyHeritage’s tracking system helps you control your anticipation. Simply download the MyHeritage app and you’ll have access to up-to-date tracking for each of your kits.
I checked this thing religiously, and nearly squealed out loud when we got this result about 4 weeks later:
We got the results of my husband’s test first, quickly followed by my own.The MyHeritage app dashboard offers a quick, easy-to-access view of your DNA estimate. And one tap of a button allows you to view the countries with more accuracy, including a map for those of us who are geographically challenged (me!). You also have quick access to your DNA matches. Hello, second cousins once removed!
And… remember those two truths previously deemed self-evident? Well, it’s only half true.
I am Irish.
In fact, I’m significantly more Irish than I thought—more than half! Plus, I was super surprised to discover that I also have genetic traces of South Africa and Italy.
But, my husband is not German.
At least, not according to his MyHeritage DNA results. Even more random and unpexpected—he’s a quarter Greek/Balkan! Opa!
After getting these results, I could hardly wait for my son’s to come back. I’m not kidding when I say I actually got butterflies in my stomach when we got the notification. It was like Christmas morning.
My heart pounding, I opened the MyHeritage app. I knew the information I was about to view would change the course of my son’s future. In just a moment’s time, we’d know his culture. His heritage. His unique background.
We’d have answers to his questions. Access to research, literature, and history.
To protect his privacy, I won’t share his detailed results here. But, I will say we discovered he is more than 70% Nigerian.
That is a life-changing discovery for my son.
I instantly threw myself into researching Nigerian culture and soaking in its history. I ordered classic Nigerian literature, and I’m going to put the books into a box—next to the letters we wrote on his adoption day and the beautiful trinket my friend brought back from Africa—for him to open when he’s ready.
As his adoptive mother, I have given my son all but one thing—DNA. It’s the single thing I will never be able to offer.
But thanks to MyHeritage, he will know his history. When he’s ready, he’ll be able to explore his culture and his biological roots.
And, that’s pretty incredible, don’t you think?
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